UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed a law on Monday, October 31 that will allow employees to take time off work and read. The law is aimed at creating a society that is more knowledge-based.

“Our goal is to prepare generations that work towards excelling and achieving the vision of the UAE, which since its inception has recognized the importance of knowledge, science and culture, and harnessed them in the best interests of the homeland and Emiratis,” Sheikh Khalifa said.

UAE Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum urged that students in school should be encouraged to read as well. He also stated that books that are already read must be donated and not destroyed.

Sheikh Mohammed further revealed the law in a series of posts on his Twitter account stating, “Reading material will be exempted from any fees or taxes for the purposes of distribution, publishing and printing. The law offers support for the publishing sector, and also provides facilities for authors and editors.”

“The law consolidates the cultural image of books in our society, and obliges coffee shops in shopping malls to offer reading material for its customers. The law will encourage the private sector to invest in the establishment of libraries and cultural centres. This will be done by providing the private sector with facilities, incentives and discounts,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

Sheikh Mohammed also tweeted that the UAE’s “goal is for 2016” is to be “the start of a sustainable cultural change among generations – a change that consolidates the importance of reading, celebrates knowledge and boosts the status of reading.”

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